Poetry Corner: Groundhog Negotiations

by Jim Farfaglia

Before we begin another season
sharing this space I call my backyard
and you call
Jim’s All You Can Eat Garden Salad Buffet
let us make a pact:

I promise to fence in my vegetables
with the finest grade chicken wire,
if you promise to not find
ever creative ways
to chew through, dig under or scale over it.

You also agree to not burrow
yet another passageway under my shed
that will lead to your, no doubt,
quite comfortable one room bungalow,
if I agree to not use gravel, plywood,
broken cement blocks and old railroad ties,
attempting to barricade your existing routes.

You also have my word
that I will no longer
repeatedly rap on my kitchen window,
trying to scare the bejesus out of you,
if you, in turn, stop telling
more and more of your relatives
how great this place is
and they really should pack up and join you

since there’s plenty here to eat and –
other than some strange window-tapping guy –
the neighbors are real friendly.

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